• Events
Aug 4
Microcosmos US National Arboretum 3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
Aug 4
Microcosmos US National Arboretum 3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002
Film Series
Leos Carax Retrospective 1328 Montana Avenue Santa Monica, Ca 90403

Celebrating the 10th Edition of MoMI "First Look"

Image: "The Grocer’s Son, the Mayor, the Village, and the World" by Claire Simon

First Look, the Museum’s acclaimed festival of innovative new international cinema, introduces New York audiences to formally inventive works that seek to redefine the art form while engaging in a wide range of subjects and styles. The festival’s tenth edition—shifting to mid-summer and extended to two weekends—First Look 20/21 presents still unseen works from the 2020 iteration of the festival alongside over a dozen additional programs, making it the biggest and most wide-ranging edition to date. All First Look 20/21 programs will be presented in the Museum’s two theaters, with filmmakers appearing either in person or via live video. A selection of films will also be available for online viewing after their on-site premiere, details forthcoming.

The Museum of the Moving Image will host this festival welcoming seven French movies, all taking place at the Redstone Theater.

Opening Night, on Thursday, July 22, features the New York premieres of Claire Simon’s The Grocer’s Son, the Mayor, the Village, and the World…, with Simon joining virtually!


Dir. Claire Simon. France. 2020, 111 mins. In French with English subtitles.

Thursday, July 22, 7:00 p.m.

In the village of Lussas, France, some people meet up in an old house which used to be the town grocery. Today, it is transformed into the headquarters of a SVOD platform for art house documentary films.

Dir. Aicha Macky. Niger. 2021, 82 mins.

Saturday, July 24, 4:00 p.m.

Aicha Macky returns to her hometown Zinder, the second largest city in Niger, to understand the phenomenon of gangs who are causing trouble. She reveals the survival strategies of a neglected youth, to whom she gives voice and a face.

Dir. Michael Andrianaly. France/Madagascar. 2019, 72 mins. In Malagasy with French and English subtitles

Sunday, July 25, 1:00 p.m.

In Madagascar, after the municipality tears down his hair salon, Roméo has to leave Tamatave's high street for the city's popular districts. He moves into a small shabby shed where he dreams of building a proper salon.

Dir. Chloé Galibert-Laîné. France/Germany. 2020, 40 mins.

Saturday, July 31, 3:00 p.m.

As part of her doctoral research into so-called “Netnographic Cinema,” Galibert-Laîné spins a hopscotching relational inquiry into contemporary forms of hermeneutics and rhetorics of authority from Reddit threads to cable news to Hollywood reenactments. 

Dir. Eléonore Weber. France. 2020, 76 mins.

Saturday, July 31, 4:45 p.m.

To shoot: a gun or a movie camera. The military analogy is born with the beginning of cinema. Eléonore Weber's documentary is exclusively based upon footage recorded by French and American soldiers in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. From the top of their helicopters, a viewfinder scans the night and watches for suspicious activity from moving heat dots. They have the power to take or keep lives.

Dir. Pierre Creton. France. 2019, 81 mins. In French with English subtitles.

Sunday, August 1, 1:00 p.m.

African immigrants start working on a farm in Normandy and hope to open their own restaurant someday.

Dir. Christophe Bisson. France. 2019, 80 mins. In French with English subtitles.

Sunday, August 1, 3:00 p.m.

In his spellbinding body of work, Bisson has forged a cinema of empathy, closely filming the lives of marginalized people with unobtrusive artistry. In the masterfully edited Noli me tangere, he creates a tapestry out of filmed portraits of men and women who are social outsiders.

First Look 20/21 was programmed by Eric Hynes, Curator of Film, and Edo Choi, Assistant Curator of Film; Becca Keating, Director of Development and curator of Persistent Visions program; Sonia Epstein, Associate Curator of Science and Film; and guest curator David Schwartz, Manager of Theatrical Programming, Netflix. 

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy supports this festival.